Are you visiting Edinburgh and hungry for some delicious local food? You’re in luck! From classic Scottish cuisine to comfort food and strong spirits, our local expert has rounded up the top foods to try in Edinburgh, plus local favorite drinks to wash it all down. Let’s eat!
Pro Tip: Planning your trip to Edinburgh? It’s easier to organize your trip when you have all your resources in one place. Bookmark this post along with the best restaurants in Edinburgh, the top things to do in the city, and how to visit Edinburgh Castle.
The 12 Best Foods And Drinks To Try In Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital city boasts an impressive selection of traditional and contemporary food options to explore on your next trip. As Edinburgh welcomes new visitors each year, the food scene here has flourished. That means you’ll find delicious food and drink to enjoy from almost any cuisine you can imagine.
On this list, we cover the best and most-loved foods and drinks in Edinburgh from whisky to haggis and tarts. Although the Scottish classics are best loved here, we also include other local favorites. Let’s get stuck in!
Shortbread is a Scottish treasure and adored by many. This tasty biscuit comes in many shapes and sizes, but what makes shortbread so scrumptious is its sweet, buttery flavor.
Shortbread goes well with almost any drink—tea, milk, or even whisky. You’ll find shops and bakeries that sell shortbread nearly everywhere. As a local, I am passionate about where I get it.
Though all the locals sell tasty shortbreads, I have found one place that stands out. The Shortbread House of Edinburgh bakery sells authentic and mouthwatering shortbread—and it goes well with whisky too. They have also designed other types of shortbread, which I highly recommend. Try their chocolate or ginger shortbread!
Where to get it: Shortbread House Of Edinburgh
11. Steak Pie
Although steak pie is traditionally enjoyed on New Year’s Day in Scotland, who says you can’t have it year-round? This delicious pie is made with beef and fresh vegetables, topped with pastry, and served with thick gravy.
It’s often accompanied by chips, vegetables, or mash, which makes this pie a proper good meal to have any time of year. Steak pie is loved by both locals and tourists in Edinburgh and is available in shops, pubs, and restaurants.
However, I have two favourite places to find the best steak pie: MUMS Great Comfort Food and The Piemaker. Both of these places have steak pie that leaves you wanting more! Don’t eat meat? No problem! There are vegetarian and vegan options available, which are equally delicious.
Wondering what to explore in Edinburgh? Don’t miss our guide to all the best Harry Potter stops, our favorite things to do, and how to visit Edinburgh Castle.
10. Scottish Porridge
Porridge is a simple dish but every bite is hearty and filling. Although this is an Edinburgh breakfast staple, it can also be savored throughout the day. The basic ingredients of porridge are oats and milk or water. The key, however, is to sprinkle something special on top like fruits or biscuits.
Although you can make porridge at home, it never tastes the same as the porridge sold at Edinburgh’s cafés. My personal favourite is The Edinburgh Larder. Their porridge is truly something special and even gorgeous to look at. Check out the colorful toppings they add! The Edinburgh Larder also offers porridge with non-dairy milk options so anyone can enjoy Scottish porridge.
Where to get it: The Edinburgh Larder
9. Deep-Fried Mars Bars
Mars Bars are a favorite chocolate bar in many places but what makes this gooey delicious chocolate extra special in Edinburgh is that it’s deep-fried! Deep frying a Mars bar gives it a distinctive sweet and salty taste.
It’s a local delicacy that’s available at any chip shop in Edinburgh. But not every chip shop serves Mars bars with a particular oil that works best. The best deep-fried chocolate bar is deep-fried in a separate oil and batter.
To make sure you get the best of this unique treat, head to Bertie’s Proper Fish and Chips or Royal Mile Tavern. Both of these places serve up equally scrumptious deep-fried Mars Bars.
8. Scottish Whisky
Scotland and Edinburgh in particular are well known for their distillers and lovely alcohol selections. However, one particular drink surpasses the rest with its rich and luxurious taste. It’s whisky, of course!
As Scotland’s national drink, whisky is easily one of the top things to try on your trip to Edinburgh. There are lots of places to try whisky, but my top stop is The Scotch Whisky Experience. You’ll love the full experience they offer with hundreds of flavors, plus options for tastings and tours.
Obviously, other pubs and restaurants also serve great whisky. So, no matter where you are—local pub or fancy restaurant—whisky is a must-try in Edinburgh!
Where to get it: The Scotch Whisky Experience
7. Traditional Scottish Breakfast
If you love a filling breakfast, then a traditional, hearty Scottish breakfast is for you. It usually comes with bacon, sausage, egg, black pudding, baked beans, tattie (potatoes) scones, mushrooms, tomatoes, and toast. I highly recommend also having tea—perhaps a Scottish milk and tea—with your breakfast as it’s a match made in heaven.
You can enjoy a good Scottish breakfast all over Edinburgh, but one place stands out with its freshness and authenticity—Loudons Fountainbridge. Although Scottish breakfast consists of a plateful of meat, Loudons also serves vegetarian and vegan options. Don’t leave Edinburgh without having at least one full Scottish breakfast.
Where to get it: Loudons Fountainbridge
Tarts are the perfect way to indulge your sweet tooth in Edinburgh. Similar to the city itself, tarts intertwine many influences and flavours. Although tarts are French-inspired pastries, Edinburgh is a perfect place to eat them because tarts have gained a great reputation as local bakers have competed unofficially to raise the bar.
Head straight to Manna House Bakery and Patisserie for this one. They serve tempting tarts with many distinct flavors like baked egg custard, chocolate caramel, and more. However, if you want to try an Edinburgh classic, I recommend the lemon meringue tart.
Where to get it: Manna House Bakery and Patisserie
5. Scottish Hog Roast Roll
Rolls, especially meat-filled rolls, are a staple in Edinburgh for many reasons In particular because they’re delicious and practical to eat. With many people craving meat rolls, there’s been a strong market for them in the city. Rolls come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavours. Thie best is the Scottish hog roast roll.
Get yours at Oink. This place is known for scrumptious, fresh hog roast rolls and each bite is worth the wait. Also, you’ll be supporting Edinburgh’s local farmers when you buy a roll at Oink.
This delicious pork-filled roll finishes fast so make sure you arrive early and order a few. You’ll find Oink on Victoria Street, so stop in here after your visit to Edinburgh’s version of Diagon Alley.
Where to get it: Oink
Planning a trip to Edinburgh? Make sure to check our list of the top things to do, the city’s best restaurants, and how to spend Christmas in Edinburgh.
4. Local Seafood
Seafood is one of the treasures of Edinburgh due to its freshness and abundance. Locals in the city also take great pride in their seafood, which usually includes smoked salmon, mussels, scallops, trout, oysters, prawns, cod, haddock, and more.
Seafood is literally found all across the city, but I have two go-to spots. One is Fishers if you’re out in Leith. The other winner is Mussel Inn Seafood Restaurant. Both of these restaurants specialise in seafood and are great at what they do!
Fishers is an award-winning historic restaurant in a 17th-century watchtower, and their seafood platter is to die for. Mussell Inn is an award-winning restaurant with bistro vibes and lots of specials offering new tastings. My absolute favourites are the prawns and salmon.
3. Cullen Skink
What is Cullen skink you might ask? Cullen skink is a wholesome Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions. This soup is thick and creamy and usually served with Scottish bread loaves. As a result, it’s very filling and could even be a main dish.
This creamy and fishy soup is really delicious and will take your taste buds on a fun journey. It’s not uncommon for tourists who don’t love soup to end up falling in love with this particular dish. Edinburgh is a hub for seafood and fish, which means eating Cullen skink here is a no-brainer. I recommend getting yours at Teuchters Landing.
Where to get it: Teuchters Landing
2. Fish Supper or Fish and Chips
Fish supper, also known as fish and chips, is an absolute favourite in Edinburgh. This popular meal is juicy fried fish in a crispy batter served with fresh chips (otherwise called French fries).
This mouthwatering dish is also great to combine with sauces. For example, the most popular sauces in Edinburgh are salt, vinegar, brown sauce, and red sauce. My favourite combination is salt, vinegar, and brown sauce.
Also, depending on where you try fish supper, it could be served with peas and buttered bread. This wholesome meal is available almost anywhere in Edinburgh, but the best place to get it is at a local chippy. These places excel in one thing: delicious, authentic, and fresh fish and chips. My favourite chippy is L’Alba D’Oro.
Where to get it: L’Alba D’Oro
A national delicacy, haggis is the ultimate legend in Scotland. It’s usually served in the form of a pudding and is made of sheep’s pluck, which is then chopped with flavor fillers like onions, suet, oats, and other ingredients.
Sheep’s pluck is usually the lungs, heart, and liver of a sheep. It’s sometimes rolled into a clean sheep’s intestine before being cooked. Think of it like a hearty sausage.
Traditionally haggis is served with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). Over the years, this delicacy has taken on new forms like a haggis burger or even a vegetarian haggis. I suggest picking where to eat your haggis based on how clean and freshly it’s prepared. I have two great places to recommend.
Head over to Deacon Brodie’s Tavern for their perfectly traditional haggis. Another great option is Greyfriars Bobby. Both are equally delicious, fresh, and yummy. Other places also serve good haggis, just make sure it’s prepared well. No matter what, a trip to Scotland would be incomplete without trying haggis!